Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

Update: “Judge determines couple with low IQs can parent both their boys”

“Four years after their son was first placed into foster care, a Deschutes County judge has determined that Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler can parent both their boys.” The couple’s infant had been restored to them by a court ruling three weeks ago; now “4-year-old Christopher is on a track to come home as well. Both boys have spent nearly their entire lives in foster care based on the state’s concerns that Fabbrini and Ziegler were intellectually incapable of caring for their children,” though no abuse has been alleged. [Samantha Swindler, Oregonian; earlier]

Self-service gas arrives in (parts of) Oregon

Until this week, Oregon and New Jersey were the only two states to ban self-serve gas stations. Oregon just ended its ban as to rural counties, despite warnings from defenders of the old law that ordinary motorists might not be up to the task of handling pumps without causing fiery infernos or spills. [Brian Manzullo, Detroit Free Press]

As for New Jersey’s ban, Paul Mulshine wrote a column three years ago exploring its unlovely origins. He explains the oft-remarked New Jersey paradox — the state beats its neighbors on gas price even though all pumps are full-service — by noting that the Garden State has had (until recently) a relatively low gas tax and is located amid refineries and import operations, helping keep transport costs down. More: R.J. Lehmann, 2015.

Oregon appeals court upholds $135,000 cake fine

An Oregon appeals court has upheld the oppressive $135,000 fine levied on bakers Melissa and Aaron Klein, who turned away a gay couple’s wedding cake order [Whitney Woodworth, Salem Statesman-Journal] As I observed two years back, the use of ruinous fines to punish non-ruinous conduct is a wider problem in our law, not just here. The Oregon court did reverse one state finding related to the Kleins’ supposed announcement of a future intent to discriminate, to which I and others had taken particular exception.

As my colleague Roger Pilon put it about the Colorado case, “If there is intolerance here, it is from those who would force a man to choose between his religious beliefs and his livelihood.”

P.S. Eugene Volokh on the court’s main ruling and on the “threat to discriminate” sub-issue.

Joyous reunion: low-IQ Oregon couple get custody of their youngest back

“Four days before Christmas, a Redmond couple received their miracle. Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler’s 10-month-old son Hunter will spend his first Christmas at home after a judge found the couple’s limited cognitive abilities did not make them unfit to parent.” But the ruling does not reverse the termination of the couple’s parental rights over 4-year-old son Christopher, who is deemed to have more complex needs because of developmental hurdles; they will be back next month in court to fight that. [Samantha Swindler, Oregonian] I’ve written about the case here and here.

Update: Oregon admits error in traffic engineer case

As reported in April, the state of Oregon fined Mats Järlström of Beaverton $500 for supposedly practicing engineering without a license after he sent a letter to state officials challenging traffic camera practices, including various calculations, and mentioning his background as an electrical engineer. Now the state has admitted that it erred and violated his constitutional rights, and refunded his fine. [Reese Counts, AutoBlog]

December 6 roundup

  • Torts class hypotheticals come to life: tipsy axe-throwing, discussed in this space last June, is coming to D.C. [Jessica Sidman, Washingtonian] One guess why Japanese “slippery stairs” game show might not translate easily to Land O’ Lawyers [Dan McLaughlin on Twitter]
  • “California lawyer pleads guilty in $50M visa scam” [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal]
  • Claim: longstanding practice in Louisiana and Oregon of not requiring jury unanimity for felony convictions reflects states’ racial past [Angela A. Allen-Bell, Washington Post]
  • “Judge Halts Copyright Troll’s Lawsuit Against A Now-Deceased Elderly Man With Dementia And An IP Address” [Timothy Geigner]
  • David Henderson reviews Richard Rothstein book on history of federal encouragement of housing segregation, The Color of Law [Cato Regulation magazine]
  • Class action: sellers of cold-pressed juice should have disclosed that it was high-pressure-processed [Elaine Watson, Food Navigator USA]

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Update: jury acquits in Nevada Bundy standoff

“For the second time this year, the federal government tried and failed to convict four men who joined the high-profile Bundy family in its 2014 [Nevada] standoff with federal agents in a dispute over grazing fees for cattle.” Two defendants were acquitted of all charges, and two others were acquitted of most with the jury hanging on the remainder. [Melissa Etehad and David Montero, L.A. Times] Both the armed Nevada standoff, and the later Bundy family takeover of the unoccupied Malheur wildlife refuge in Oregon, played at the time as big crisis stories. Despite the weakness of many of the underlying legal claims about land advanced by the protesters, federal prosecutors have struggled to obtain convictions; the Oregon takeover resulted in acquittals in October [our earlier coverage] [revised and corrected; an earlier version of this post had been based on confused chronology]